Those Magnificient Men and Their Wonderful Machines

Last night I was talking to my fiancee and happened to have my window open. There were several small bangs and a bunch of small arms started up. I told her I’d call her back and meandered to one of the bunkers in true “this ain’t necessary but it’s the game we have to play” fashion. Nobody else seemed to notice except my neighbor, which was not surprising, but still…they were shooting at our watch tower about 100m away. I watched a tracer bounce off the tower and head off away. Terry and I talked for a couple of minutes and gave up. I walked back into my container and started the long and drawn out dialing process again, trying to think of something innocuous I had to do so she wouldn’t be scared — folks back home always have a strange concept of the danger. Anyways, I’m dialing

BOOM!!!

and it sorta takes my breath away and my container rocks in the concussion. It sounds like they got in our camp this time, not just the FOB. They’re not supposed to do that, it only happens when I am gone! The phone handset heads back in the general direction of the base, I barely manage to get my shoes near my feet on the third try, and I lock myself in the container instead of opening the door. It if would have been a car, I wouldn’t have been able to start it, and if I wore high heels I would have tripped and fell…and I did this anyway coming out the door. Somehow I made it to the bunker. Heart pounding like Twiki just before he says something to Buck. Nothing else blew up thankfully.

Turns out it wasn’t a rocket, but a car bomb. We’re fairly close to the road here (50-75m) with a wall or two in between. We still rocked quite nicely, and of course the boom was impressive. Even more impressive is that no one was hurt, because as a Stryker rolled by a broken down taxi with it’s hood up, it exploded. The Stryker rolled from the force of it. The rear quarter was beat up badly, and the whole rear end sags like an old stripper’s chest, except it’s burnt black as well. The turret was disassembled (or broke off, I don’t know) and lashed up on top. I don’t envy what it must have felt like inside that thing when it blew up and then rolled, but I bet it was damn uncomfortable. I’m sure their ears are still ringing. It was bad enough from where we were a couple hundred meters away. I’m not gonna debate Bradley vs Stryker vs M113 or any of that stuff, but I’m glad those guys are ok, and I salute them for going out there every day and doing their best. That Stryker took a hell of a bang.

Later I’d find out that no one was even injured, except one guy injured his arm when they rolled.

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